~Goodness where does the time go??~

How can the weekend be over again?  It feels like the days are simply whizzing by. Like lightning really.

I am loving my library right now. LOVE!  Look at my new cookbooks I checked out last week!!

I have been really working hard on decreasing our packaged foods. We are down by a great deal. I am speaking of packaged prepared foods like: mac and cheese, frozen pizza’s, crackers, kid food, snack food, etc.  I am on the search for new and better recipes daily.

For example:

Pretzels. Yum!  Recipe from here at Maya Made.  They have been a big hit.  My one weakness is pretzels. It’s like crack and I can’t get off of them.

I’ve been making  Rosemary Crackers .  Each time I make them they get better and better.  The secret is to roll the dough just as thin as you can. Paper thin. These taste kind of  like Cheese It”s to me, but much, much better. It’s kind of like  love really.

What I have really been wanting to try is pasta. I tried a recipe a few months ago, and it turned out so bad. I mean like clumps of clay bad. Ugh. I was determined to try again. I  used the recipe from the Alice Water’s cookbook.  The Art of Simple Food.  Oh my, oh my, oh my gosh. I kind of felt like I died and went to heaven. I have no words to describe how good this pasta was. My dad would have been so proud. He always made fresh pasta and I remember he used a  pasta  machine.  I used me,  myself, and I to roll the dough out.  It worked  just fine. Here are a few of the steps..

It is hard to believe egg and flour make pasta, with just a little splash of water. That’s it.

Resting.

I can’t believe I am showing a picture of my kitchen.. oh me.

Just waiting to be cooked. Alice said that hand cut noodles are rustic and charming.  Ok, Alice, I agree.

A finished dish, sorry, so blurry!

Oh my, yum!!  Noodles with a splash of olive oil, butter, zucchini, mushrooms, lemon juice, and lemon basil (from my garden, yay!)

My toughest critic and  she really liked it!

I think I will buy this book.  It is a winner!!

 It seems all I do is spend my day in the kitchen. That is the one thing about changing the way you eat. Whole foods do take more time to prepare. It is well worth it not only for me,  but for my daughter as well. She is beginning to experience  joy in our kitchen, and the joy of creating.  She makes a little something to go with our evening meal. This is joyful time we spend together laughing and being silly.  

This is an added benefit I was not completely expecting, however, she imitates what I do and her creativity is fueled. I have really enjoyed our time together. Especially on the weekends. Her father is working and her big sister is as well. It is just us girls usually.

 I really want to read this book ,  I hope I can find it at my library.  I want to read this one too. I love Cookus Interuptus  their videos are hilarious..! 

Ok, so if you’ve made it this far– I hope you had a wonderful weekend!!

~Oh Mujadara and a little pondering~

This post really spoke to me… I was so over winter, just done with it. Yes, we had some sun and we have a few little bulbs popping up, but the majority of the landscape is dead brown & yuck. I know a few good rains will change all of that, but February is a killer for me. It is just a hard month and it drains me.  everything changes in March, the sun is warm and bright.  Everything has buds and there is so much promise in these early March days.

So, I decided to make mujadara. I actually found the idea from here, at Kyrie’s blog,  I just love her blog.  It simply inspires me.

The mujadara is so simple, but the taste is so fabulous. It is all in the onions. This dish is a start in the morning and let it sit all day because it just gets better with a little time behind it.

I have made this fantastic flatbread several times already, and it is a wonderful thing to serve with beans.  My husband says this flatbread reminds him of living in Iran (he lived there for  a short time with his mom and step-dad in the 70′s).  It is really good.  Please spend time reading Sara’s blog, wow, it is so fantastic. You will love it and be really inspired. I know I am ready to go live on a farm!!  Well, in my mind anyway!!

~these little cuties have nothing to do with anything, but I am eating these by the handful each and everyday, so fresh!

I don’t have pictures of the flatbread, but trust me when I say you should make it.  It is fast and easy and a perfect side to this yummy dish!

The way it is going now, we will have a day or two of nice dry sunny days, temps as high as 70ish, wonderful.  So, on these days we are outside. Playing on the front porch with sidewalk chalk and drawing and coloring in her  art journal while I pull a few weeds and try to cut down some of the shrubbery.  Gah- it is a jungle out there.  Then we spend a few days with cold rain and gray dreary skies. I know this will pass soon enough, but spring can play havoc sometimes.

I am so grateful for the wonderfullness of blogs and women all around the world, sharing and inspiring so many.  I have always thought computers bring the world to you, and it is really true. If you want to learn it, you can, if you want to see it, you can all because of this wonderful thing called the internet.  As a young girl I could have never imagined such a thing. Here we are now with so many possibilities. It never ceases to amaze me.

May you find something warm to eat, a bit of sun to shine on your face and  something that brings you just a little bit of wonder.  Happy weekend!!

~The power of soup and a loaf of homemade bread~

This is the best brocoli soup. Ever.

If you feel a little under the weather then you must have soup. 

The winter funk won’t leave our house. No matter how many times I sanitize and clean. The little people go out and bring back the funk. I am so over it.

I found this soup recipe .  I had to make it.   I put a little sour cream and a little garlic chili sauce on it and it was YUM!   After  I had eaten a bowl I realized that I had forgotten one of the main ingredients–th arugula!   Oh dear,  but it  was an  easy fix, I re-blended a small batch with the arugula and it was just fine.  The arugula really makes the soup. 

I doubled the recipe.  You can’t really have soup without bread. I have made several different types of bread. I’ve done the no knead bread, it is really good but you must have a plan with the amount of time it takes to get the end bread. I have made several loaves of wheat bread. It is good, but sometimes you just need a new recipe.

So, I came across this yummy recipe and I knew I had to give it a go.  I did not have any whole wheat pastry flour, so I used my 50/50 flour by Hodgson Mill and it seemed to work just fine.

I LOVE this bread! Really I do love it.   It is really hearty, but not all whole wheaty, which makes for nice for a change.  It is substantial and goes good with soup, or strawberry jam!

Love it!  It is really easy to make.   You must try it!

~It was a really hard week~

Late February days; and now, at last,
Might you have thought that Winter’s woe was past;
So fair the sky was and so soft the air.
The Earthly Paradise by William Morris (1834 – 1896)

This week has been really tough. I like to keep things light and happy here. 

Blame it on the weather, blame it on my upcoming birthday, thinking about the past… I don’t really know.

Sometimes we just get stuck I guess.

To try to find an end to my problems.. I went outside.   I went looking for Spring.  I think it is the only thing that will make my heart feel lighter.

~look what I found!  Some pretty yellow crocus.. that is cheerful right?

 

~I found a pretty purple Lenten Rose.  I love these, they are really pretty and they get better and better each year.

~Lastly I found some buds, I love buds!  These are Quince buds, they are really late this year, usually this blooms in January.  This winter has been a little strange, but what is normal really? Everything is always changing.  So, we deal with what we are given right?

After I looked for spring, I felt a little better, but not really.   I made one of my favorites for dinner, Pizza!!   I have made this so many times, but it never stops making me happy.  This one came our really good!

It helped a little.

I guess no one every said life was easy, right??

I ended the day with a meditative  knit.

Time makes everything better so, I will wait.

~Back from the land of the dead and hungry~

I told you I was sick, but I had no idea how low I would go. Chills, shakes, then hot flashes, my throat felt like I was swallowing glass. My head was full of concrete.  I won’t lie, it got a little rough.

On Tuesday, I did nothing, NOTHING at all, I went from my chair to my bed, to the tub, to a hot shower if I could stand up longer then 5 minutes. I haven’t had that kind of sick in a while.

Thankfully I woke up a lot better Wednesday, and by dinner time, I felt like I needed to replenish.   I was craving tomatoes, strawberries, and basil & greens.  I felt like  this is what my body needed.

~it started with these strawberries rinsed, sliced, and placed in a bowl with a smidge of sugar  to macerate the berries.

~and these little grape tomatoes, rinsed.

~collards, I really wanted some greens… washed and cut into tiny bite sized pieces.

~chicken tenders cooked in cast iron skillet.

~chicken sliced and tossed with basil.

~cooked pasta, drained with a bit of the cooking liquid reserved in the pot, collard and tomatoes tossed in.

~ricotta cheese added, salt and pepper.

~chicken added. Yum! Restorative and fresh, I am ready for Spring. 

Then it got really good….

yes, really good.

~told you!

It was so good and I feel better, much better.  It pays to listen to your body and this made an even better breakfast.    I am ready to get back to the things I need to do.

~ Our traditional New Year’s Day meal~

The word on the street is that you must eat this to have a good year. Not sure I believe that, but I will say it is not New Year’s day at our home without this meal. We make this traditional meal every year because that is just what we do to honor our traditions.  It is a good thing  WE LOVE IT!!  (Most of us anyway!)

Really!

Because we indulged just a little too much this Christmas season, oh yes, I am really feeling it~ We will be eating a lot more of this in the upcoming weeks! Good thing  WE LOVE IT!!  just as much..(Most of us anyway!)

What is your New Year’s day tradition?

~ Family Dinner Swap!~

Amy at Park City Girl is hosting a Family Dinner Swap!
What a great idea!!

 Normally I would post a recipe for soup because that is my favorite all time food, however, I now have a close second!

~Pizza~!!

Love it, and with this easy recipe you will love it too!

I have used my favorite cook book, Honest Pretzels and yes, it is a children’s cookbook that I had hoped my eldest daughter would use, so far it is only me using it. Quite honestly, I am fine with that because I just love this cookbook!
Seriously!
Ok, the recipe:

Make your dough:

1 cup lukewarm water,
1 tsp yeast

mix in a large bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes,
then add 1 tbsp olive oil
then add 2 1/2 cups flour, * I used half white, half whole wheat
1 tsp salt

Mix together by whisk at first, then your hand.  Then you knead your dough for about 5 minutes.

Now, clean your bowl and then put 1 tbsp of olive oil into your cleaned bowl. Cover and let rise for about 1 hour.

*I will make my dough in  the morning, and let it rise all day until I am ready to use for supper. It works great that way.

You also will want to go ahead and sprinkle either corn meal or I use wheat bran to coat the baking pan.

After your dough has risen, you spread it out on a baking sheet. Cook at 450 degrees for 8 minutes, then take it out and top with your choice of toppings..

Then return to the oven and bake for an additional 6-8 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly!

I have done basil/olive oil, red sauce,  I have even  just used olive oil for a base. We’ve used leftover chicken, pepperoni, sausage, and a variety of different cheeses. There is no way to mess this up! So easy, and so so good!

This pizza is so much better than store-bought, even better then a restaurant.   No lie. It is hearty and delicious! What is also great is that most likely you will have the simple ingredients on hand, and this is a great way to use up leftovers!

Now go try it & let me know if you like it!

    ~notice the thumbs up going on there?!? She is my toughest critic!

Big thank you to Amy for hosting this great recipe swap, I am always in need of new ideas for supper!

~Oh my gosh I won!~

Seriously, this is my first time ever to win anything.. it just never happens for me!

 NEVER!!

Remember  Amy’s Quilt Festival?
I posted about my Nie Nie quilt.. well, as I was reading her post listing all of the winners, I almost fell out of my chair!
I saw my name!

Turns out I won a few goodies from  Quilternity  I am so excited!!!
Like this little helpful tool… wait until you see what I am working on… I really could have used this! Also, a set of 5 hand dyed fat quarters!!  

Are you kidding me?     

Thank you Quilternity and thank you to  Amy for hosting the Fall Quilt Festival, it was so much fun!

Remember it is never too late to learn a new task or to develop a new interest. If you think you want to learn to quilt, just go for it! It is easy, rewarding, forgiving and in the end you will create something beautiful.. what’s not to love?

 

Ps, doesn’t that coffee look super great???

It is not just a latte, no it is a a Pumpkin Pie Spiced latte from The Yellow Door Paperie oh my stars.. heaven in a cup and that is for real!!

So good!

   ~ and I made this recipe from the Soup Swap

So good! By the way, that is parmesan and steam on the picture.. I don’t know why, but lately I have been putting parmesan on everything.. what’s up with that?